Budgeting is essential for everyone, especially students, and perhaps especially during the summer. Budgeting is such a good skill to learn and will set you up for life. Here are a few budgeting tips to get you started:
1. Know how much money is coming in… and going out
For budgeting, you must know what comes into your bank account and what leaves. An easy way to do this is to either keep a book or use notes on your phone. So money coming in could be, for example, from a part-time job or student loan payments, in which case you know roughly how much you get each month. You also know how much your rent and other bills will cost. You can then work out how much money you have left for the entire month until the next payday, etc.
2. What are you spending on?
This is a surprisingly good money saver once you get into the swing of everything. Now, money seems easy to spend through apple/android pay and contactless cards. First tip? Use your card by inputting your pin rather than tapping as it will make your brain click that you are spending money that you maybe shouldn’t be spending. Keeping track of what you spend makes it easier to realise which purchases aren’t so essential. For example, buying a coffee from the library each day (approx £10 for the week) could be saved by bringing in your own for home. Similarly, bottled water – just take your own bottle and fill it at a water fountain.
3. Increase the money that comes in
In the summer, most students have a lot of free time which could equate to earning more money. If you are lucky to have a part time job, ask for overtime where possible and watch your income increase. One summer, I managed to double my monthly pay by just doing lots of overtime (but do remember to give yourself a break too – you deserve it!).
Another income boosting tip is to sell things that you don’t use, such as old clothes and old textbooks. You may not earn much but it is still a little boost!
4. Cook more
If you eat out a lot, there is a high possibility that this is where your money goes. Yes, it is nice to treat yourself from time to time with a nice dinner but try and make things at home! I have found cooking dinner at home is more rewarding and you can make extra for the next day. It also allows you to try out new things without breaking the bank on a fancy meal at a restaurant. If you must go out for dinner, try finding places which offer a student discount.